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What are Rhetorical Strategies?

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Presentation on theme: "What are Rhetorical Strategies?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What are Rhetorical Strategies?

2 What is rhetoric? And why bother studying it?
“the art of effective expression (speaking & writing) and the persuasive use of language” We study rhetoric because: it helps us to better appreciate appeals to our ethos, pathos, & logos (more on this to come) it helps us to become more effective persuasive speakers and writers

3 Examples? What are some of the techniques by which people use language persuasively? Jot these down in your notes

4 Maybe you named some of these examples:
Formal diction leads readers/listeners to believe something is ethically or legally important Emotional diction (sometimes called “sensationalism”) leads readers/listeners to recognize that ideas expressed are important to the writer/speaker Allusion can associate a new idea to a traditionally respected source

5 Here is a real-life example of rhetoric in action…
If you were trying to persuade a student to get to class on time, you might say, “it is WHS policy that students serve detention after three tardies”. What makes this statement effective?

6 The statement sounds formal and authoritative!

7 Ethos, Pathos, Logos Greek philosopher Aristotle argued that there are three basic ways to persuade an audience that you are right.

8 Ethos Persuasive appeal of one’s character. Tells us that the author is reliable and competent Example: “I am a father, a taxpayer, and have served you as senator for 20 years. I deserve your vote to continue my service. AK Senator Hollis French

9 Pathos Appeal to emotion (of course, meant to evoke emotional response) Example: “Imagine for a moment a tragic collision on the Parks Highway. A family is killed and many others are injured. The cause is determined to be frost heaves. We must use more state funds to pay for road improvements.”

10 Logos Appeal to reason (evokes a rational response)
Example: “Alaska’s roads are in a state of disrepair. Without quality roads, our transportation system will falter and hinder our economy. Hence, we must use more state funds to pay for road repairs.”





15 Rhetorical Strategies
The strategies that follow are just some of the ways to make your writing/speaking more persuasive…

16 Parallel Structure Parallel Structure-repetition of grammatically similar words, phrases, clauses, or sentences to emphasize a point or stir the emotions of a reader/listener. Used to create a sense of rhythm, balance, and order in writing or speech. Chiasmus=“inverted parallelism” (i.e. eat to live, not live to eat)

17 Parallel Structure The coach told the players: “You will get some sleep tonight, you will not eat too much right before the game, and you will do some warm-up exercises before the game.”

18 Rhetorical Question Rhetorical Question-question not answered by writer b/c the answer is obvious or obviously desired. Used in persuasion to encourage the reader/listener to reflect on what the answer must be. “How much longer must our people endure this injustice?”

19 Allusion Short, informal reference to famous person, event, story. Relies on reader/listener to be familiar with the reference and hidden meaning. Used to stimulate ideas, associations, add extra information. If I want to persuade you to wash your hands, I may say “thou shalt wash thy hands”. I am trusting that you respect the commandments and, hence, my statement.

20 Analogy Comparison between two things that are alike in certain respects. Used in persuasion to demonstrate the logic of one idea by showing how it is similar to an accepted idea. (“Pupils are more like oysters than sausages. The job of teaching is not to stuff them and then seal them up, but to help them reveal the riches within.”-Sydney Harris)

21 Alliteration Repetition of initial consonant sounds. Used to call attention to a phrase and fixes it in the reader’s/listener’s mind. (i.e. “Let us go forth to lead the land we love.”- John F. Kennedy Inaugural speech)

22 Humor Humor can be used to make you like the writer/speaker and “win you over” Hyperbole-exaggeration for emphasis/effect (“at night she needs a paint scraper to take off her makeup”) Sarcasm (“Obama doesn’t have the experience of being Miss Wasilla!”) Irony (verbal, situational, dramatic) (“it is ironic that the window store had all of its windows broken by vandals”) Understatement (From Monty Python: Army officer loses a leg, “Stings a bit.”)

23 Audience When attempting to persuade, consider your audience.
For example, you would not use caustic satire to persuade a potential employer to hire you. (“The food served here is great if you are a teenager with two dollars in your pocket.”)

24 Active Voice v. Passive Voice
Active Voice- The boy hit the ball. The subject of this sentence actively hits the ball. Passive Voice- The ball was hit by the boy. The subject sits passively, doing nothing while some outside agent performs the action.

25 Here’s why it is better rhetoric to use active voice…
Active voice sentences are shorter. The fighter punched Ali and dodged the uppercut. (Active= 8 words) Ali was punched by the fighter, and then an uppercut was dodged by him. (Passive= 14 words)

26 Active sentences are clear and to the point
When you use passive voice, you have to use boring phrases like “by so-and-so” or leave this out and let your sentence become unclear. The airplane was flown to Bermuda (by the pilot). My car has been driven to Dallas. (By whom? A car thief? The teletubbies?)

27 To Identify the Evil Passive Voice
Is there a form of the verb “to be” such as is/am/are/was/were/be/being/been? (Can’t create passive voice without this) Could you insert “by so-and-so” after the verb? (the dog was fed (by the owner) ID the subject and main verb. Is the subject “doing” the action? Or is it sitting passively?


29 Use inside of box to ID rhetorical devices
Metaphor Symbolism Rhetorical Questions Emotionally “loaded words” (To advertise a new movie…”the most awe-inspiring display of artistry ever presented on the big screen.”)

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